— Comprehensive coverage of the Heywood Truck Show
The Heywood Truck and Ute Show, part of the town’s Wood, Wine and Roses Festival, again welcomed a fundraising convoy arriving from Mt Gambier. Peter and Di Schlenk write
THE HEYWOOD Truck and Ute Show in western Victoria kicked off only five years ago but has grown consistently, especially over the last couple of years.
The truck show’s origins came about when it was incorporated into Heywood’s Wood, Wine and Roses Festival. In addition, the 2017 event, held on February 25, was also the second occasion that the event had been boosted by a truck convoy arriving from Mt Gambier in South Australia for the show.
The convoy again raised money for Beyond Blue, preceded by a fundraising evening at Mt Gambier’s Blue Lake Golf Club which raised $6000 for the charity.
Organiser Adam Smith says the passing of Kelsey Moloney, who took her own life at age 14 in 2012, was the inspiration for the convoy.
“It’s about trying to raise awareness about mental health and having a great time doing it,” Adam says.
Kelsey’s father, Shaun Moloney, drove the lead truck in the convoy, a brand new K200 Kenworth from the Glen Curran fleet.
The banner on the K200’s grille depicted Kelsey’s image.
Shaun says it was Adam’s idea from the beginning.
“Adam wanted to do something for mental health and then he heard what happened to our family,” Shaun explains. “He wanted do it in honour of my daughter because Mt Gambier was her home town.
“Kelsey died four years ago and you would never have picked her to have any issues. She was only 14.”
Shaun lived most of his life in Mt Gambier. Previously a line-haul manager for Simon National Carriers, he recently moved to Melbourne to take up a role as depot manager for Nolan’s Interstate Transport.
“I used to be an owner- driver in Mt Gambier carting timber,” Shaun explains.
The banner was auctioned off the night before the convoy, with Michael Bransgrove of Bransgrove Transport placing the winning bid of $1000.
Shaun says he’s great mates with both the Bransgroves and the boys at JW & AT Moloney Transport (no relation), also from Traralgon.
“The boys from Gippsland – the Bransgroves and the Moloneys – are mates that I used to work with carting steel. Michael is an absolute legend.”
Shaun believes truck drivers in general are underrated.
“They are the backbone of our country, really, and have big hearts, that’s for sure.”
Michael says the event was all about supporting a mate.
“We spent a lot of time working together and I went to his wedding. It’s tragic when something like this happens to any family, so it’s great to be able to show some support.”
Glenn ‘Yogi’ Kendall came across from Western Australia to not only take part in the convoy, but was invited to be guest speaker at Mt Gambier as well. Yogi is well known for his appearances in the Outback
Truckers television program, as well as being the winner of the 2016 Scania Truck Driver Competition.
Yogi’s Kenworth T900 is a familiar sight along the highways, however for the convoy he was offered a brand new Iveco Powerstar 7800, courtesy of OGR Trucks of Mt Gambier.
“It’s a real good thing,” Yogi says of the convoy. “Any kind of positives for the industry is what we need 100 per cent. A cause like this is fantastic.
“It’s been a really difficult 12 months for owner-drivers and the industry in general,” he continues.
“Despite this, the passion is still there for me, and days like this bring that passion to the fore.
“I am very humbled that they would want me to come down. The more I can do for the industry, the better it is.”
Heywood truck show organisers Lindy Annett and Tania Gray were pleased with the number of trucks arriving from Mt Gambier and other interstate locations.
Heywood may not be a trucking hub, but there are many big rigs that pass through the rural township.
“Tania and I are both working housewives with two and five kids respectively, but we love putting the truck show together,” Annett says.
“It isn’t hard, although the last couple of weeks have been a bit stressful. But it’s a great thing to be involved with.”
Michael Bransgrove’s stunning Freightliner Coronado heads up an impressive array of trucks. The Coronado later picked up the trophy in the 2-5 year category at Heywood
The trucks line up, ready to depart Mt Gambier for Heywood
in case rigs were on hand The Truck Factory’s of any calamities
Nick and Miranda Radford took part in the convoy with their 2010 Kenworth T909. The Kenworth is kept busy carting hay, cattle and farm machinery. “We keep it pretty tidy so it’s only an hour to wash it. You don’t get a better reason to bring your truck out than this convoy.”
From left: John Lynch, Daniel Fisher, Alex Moreland, Mick Hicks, Kelvin Moreland and Ross Bowen ready to drive the one-hour trip from Mt Gambier to Heywood